Pros and Cons of Dual Enrollment

January 4, 2024 by

Make An Informed Decision With Better Insight

 Like most parents, we’re pretty sure that when it comes to deciding what’s best for your high schooler’s education, having a comprehensive list of pros and cons is essential to making an informed decision. Well, if your teen lives in Mecklenburg County, and is in 9th or 10th grade you may be starting to consider dual enrollment options for 11th & 12th graders at one of CPCC’s campuses. While there are many benefits to this education track as a way to get a jumpstart on college coursework, there are also a few potential drawbacks that you’ll want to be aware of before you make your final decision. By understanding both the pros and cons, you can make a confident choice about what’s best for your teenager.

Learn more about the pros and cons of dual enrollment for high school students below.

What Is Career And College Promise Dual Enrollment?

CPCC’s Career & College Promise program offers students the opportunity to enroll in CPCC courses while being dually enrolled at Charlotte Islamic Academy. This is a great option for students who are interested in enrolling in college-level classes at CPCC while also remaining a student at Charlotte Islamic Academy.

Earn College Credits While In High School In Mecklenburg County

College coursework at CPCC allows students to earn college credits that can be applied to a 2 or 4-year degree. In some cases, students may even be able to complete their entire Associate’s degree through dual enrollment while still earning their high school diploma. For full-time Islamic school students like those at our Academy, dual enrollment can be an excellent way to prepare for the transition from a private Islamic school environment into a non-secular college experience.

Understanding How Eligibility Works

Dual-enrollment programs are subject to varying regulations by state, so if your child is not an NC resident check with your local institutions and colleges to see what they have to offer. You should also communicate with your school counselor or principal to ensure that you understand how eligibility and enrollment works.

You can learn more information about CPCC’s Dual Enrollment program by attending a weekly information session hosted online by the community college. These sessions are held on Mondays from 4:30 pm – 6 pm during the September to May months.

Now that you know a little bit more about Dual Enrollment, let’s discuss some of the benefits for high school students.

The Pros of Dual Enrollment

Get a Head Start on Earning College Credits

Dual-enrollment programs allow 11th and 12th-grade students to experience many aspects of college life while remaining a high school student. Some of these aspects include,

  • engaging with more challenging subjects
  • meeting strict deadlines
  • making new friends
  • developing college-level study habits

Admittedly though, the transition may not be as easy for all in the beginning. Thankfully these programs have lots of resources to help students make adjustments where they need them most. Not to mention, the doors of extracurricular and creative activities are wide open and perfect for students who want to be more involved in school sports, STEAM teams, and other clubs.

Amplify Motivation And Coursework Engagement

Students who opt into dual enrollment programs may find that there is a great motivating factor that exists in experiencing the challenges that come with taking more complex subjects. The motivation to succeed in a more academically challenging environment often leads to increased interest and engagement in coursework to excel in areas where they’ve easily found success in high school. This is especially true for those high schoolers who have a record of perfect grades, acing tests and may have become bored with high school level work and workload.

Oftentimes, just having the opportunity to earn college credits early is one factor that induces the most motivation for those students who wish to earn a 2 or 4-year degree. With the right course plan, graduating high school and earning your Associate’s degree in the same year is a goal that is accomplished by many dual enrollment students every year.

Dual Enrollment Is Cost-Effective

Attending the first two years of a university can be expensive. However, dual enrollment can help make it more affordable. By taking classes at a community college while also enrolled in high school, you can save money on tuition and fees.

High school students can often take advantage of in-state tuition rates and other discounts. In addition, dual enrollment programs often allow high school students to take classes for free or at a reduced rate.

Flexibility To Choose Classes & Schedule

Dual enrollment programs offer flexibility in scheduling. Students can choose when and where they’d like to take classes and create their schedules. This can be an excellent option for students who have busy schedules or need to work around other commitments.

Overall…Dual Enrollment Is A Great Advantage!

Overall, dual enrollment is a great way to get an advantage in earning college credits. Many high school students choose to take college courses while they are still in high school. This is often seen as a way to get a head start on their college career, and it can certainly have some benefits as we’ve listed above. However, there are challenges that come with dual enrollment. Let’s now discuss some of the cons.

The Cons of Dual Enrollment

Transition from High School to College Life

College-level courses are frequently more rigorous than high school courses. This may come as a surprise to students who have earned A’s and B’s while putting out less effort in high school. Furthermore, the typical college campus is often a lot different from a high school campus – in terms of both the physical environment and social scene. Consequently, it can be tough for students to feel like they fit in and make friends.

More so than high school teachers, professors in college generally expect their students to be independent and capable of working for themselves. This transition can cause difficulty for those who are used to relying on parents or other educators for academic assistance.

Differences In Study Time And Student Assessments

When students attend both high school and college at the same time, they might find that meeting the commitment of each institution is difficult. One area where this struggle is most prevalent is in the number of hours per week spent on homework and overall study time.

Furthermore, the evaluation strategies utilized in high school and college may differ considerably. In high school, multiple-choice tests and short-answer questions are common, whereas, in college, essays and research papers are more typical. This can be a challenge for students who are used to the more structured assessment methods of high school.

Variation of Dual-Enrollment Credit Approval

Dual-enrollment programs have become increasingly popular in recent years as they offer high school students the chance to earn college credit. However, there is a lot of variation in how different 4-year colleges and universities accept these credits.

Some schools accept all dual-enrollment credits, regardless of where they were earned. Other schools only accept credits from certain programs or institutions. While a small number of 4-year institutions do not accept any dual-enrollment credits at all. This is why parents and students need to research the policies of both CPCC as well as any other 4-year college or university that the student may wish to attend.

Is Your Student Ready For Dual Enrollment?

After reviewing the advantages and drawbacks listed above, the question becomes “should we or should we not enroll our child in CPCC’s dual enrollment program?” The response is a little more difficult. There are several aspects to consider before making this decision, including your student’s future intentions and the cost of tuition. We strongly advise you to attend one of CPCC’s information sessions to ask questions that are particular to your high schooler’s situation, since we believe that it will help you make an informed decision.